Since the creation of WordPress in 2003, it is now the Content Management System (CMS) of choice for about 42.6% of the websites on the internet.
WordPress is an open source software that will allow you to build your online presence, however there are components that will incur some costs such as your hosting and domain, design, and other supplementary plugins that you will need depending on the features you want to add to your website.
If you want to DIY a simple website and you’re interested in knowing how much the overall cost of doing it on WordPress would be, continue reading as we answer the question: how much does it cost to build a WordPress website in 2021?
Hosting and Domain
These are the two most important factors you need for you to build your online presence using WordPress as your CMS.
Domain registration is fairly easy and simple however, considering that there are about 1.88 billion registered websites on the internet as of writing, you might have a difficult time claiming a domain name that you want. Registering your domain name costs around $10-$30 depending on the domain registrar and the top-level domain (e.g. .com, .org) you choose.
You can register your domain name at registrars such as:
Once you have your domain, you need a web hosting service where you can store all your website’s files. Keep in mind that there are some hosting plans that also provide a free domain for a limited time, like Bluehost, Dreamhost, and Hostgator, so be on the lookout for those freebies when you choose a hosting provider for your website.
There are different types of hosting services, like shared hosting, managed hosting, and dedicated WordPress hosting. These have different features that serve different website needs. We breakdown the difference between shared and managed hosting in our article, Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Hosting: Shared vs Managed, so take a look at that if you’d like to have a deeper understanding of these.
For a starter WordPress website, your website hosting could cost as little as $2.59/month but it could cost as much as $300/month if you need a more premium hosting service.
Here are some hosting providers that we recommend you check out:
Next is your design. There are a lot of themes available in the WordPress theme directory. While some are free, there are themes that offer additional features that require a monthly fee or a one-time license fee.
Some of the more popular themes used on WordPress are Divi, Astra, and Blocksy. These cost an average of $50/year for a basic plan, but they also offer lifetime pricing ($149-249) if you plan on sticking to one theme for your website.
If you want a theme that’s more fit to the type of website you want to build, like say you want to build a website there are various theme marketplaces online such as EnvatoMarket, Themify, and Mojo Marketplace. Themes on these marketplaces could cost as little as $13 and could go up to $1600.
Look around these different marketplaces, or the WordPress theme directory to find the perfect theme for you. You can always change your theme later on–check out our tutorial on how to do so here.
We recommend thinking about your long term plan. Themes with very little customization options might be difficult to alter later on so choose a theme that you can customize easily. Here are some factors you need to consider when choosing a theme:
Here’s a list of some themes you should check out:
Theme customization is limited to the header, footer, sidebar (if any), color scheme, typography, and widgets. You can’t actually edit the body of your website, and you won’t have much design options for your blog posts or web pages. If you want to go beyond the general design of WordPress, you can opt to buy a license to a page builder.
Page builders help you create professional-looking website designs without having to learn a line of code. So no matter what skill level you have, you can definitely create your own stunning website in no time!
There are a lot of page builders on the market, an example is Elementor that has about 5 million installs, as of writing. It allows you to simply drag and drop elements to your website’s body to make your website look better. Elementor is free but they also offer premium licenses with more features. If you’d like to buy a single site license for one year, it is currently at $49.
Want to explore WordPress page builders? Take a look at these other plugins:
Another type of page builder you can look into is Gutenberg-based page builder blocks. Gutenberg is now the default editor on WordPress and it’s perfect for those who are only starting out on WordPress.
Unlike the previously mentioned page builders that use a completely different interface, Gutenberg-based page builder blocks work within the WordPress Core’s Gutenberg editor.
Stackable (hey, that’s us!) is an example of a Gutenberg-based page builder plugin. You could easily create visually stunning and fast performing websites. We also offer a free license, while our single site license that packs a lot of other great features is priced at $49 a year.
Check out our blocks in action on our demo page!
Here are other Gutenberg-based page builders that are worth trying:
In choosing a page builder, consider:
Plugins and Extensions
So once you’ve got your hosting, domain name, and design set up, you can opt to stop there. However, there are some plugins that you can use to elevate and further develop your website.
There are about four categories that you can implement on your website to improve it:
Search engines are a great channel to gain more traffic to your website. However, remember that there are about 1.88 billion websites on the internet and all of these compete to get higher search engine rankings.
This is where SEO plugins come in. They help websites rank higher and consequently, help you gain more traffic. Here are some SEO plugins to choose from:
While fast page loading speed is very important to keep your website visitors engaged, optimizing your website’s speed performance is also related to search engine optimization. Google has included speed as one of the factors they consider in their algorithm that ranks websites. Thus, your website’s performance is very important.
If you plan on filling your website with a lot of content, you should consider using a speed optimization plugin. It can help you deliver your website’s content faster to website visitors from all over the world. Other features that most speed optimization plugins have are automatically optimizing images, and even pre-loading caches (which are data stored temporarily to help browsers load websites faster).
Some examples of speed optimization plugins include:
Building an online presence through WordPress is relatively inexpensive. It’s somewhat like choosing the tools you want to include in your toolbox. The more you are willing to invest in it, the more features you get.
It can cost you as little as $30 if you’re set on just getting a domain, a hosting plan, and a bunch of other free plugins. On the other hand, if you want a more premium experience, it can cost you upwards of $400 for a single site.
The cost depends on your preference and how capable you want your website to be.
We hope your main takeaways from this are:
- No matter what skill level you have, you can DIY your WordPress website
- It doesn’t have to cost much to run a website on WordPress
Let us know if this article was helpful in any way and any topics or content you’d also like to hear from us!
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